The Red Pony
"He needs a good currying," his father said, "and if I ever hear of you not feeding him or leaving his stall dirty, I'll sell him off in a minute." (1.37)
The pony's eyes glittered, and he edged around into kicking position. But Jody touched him on the shoulder and rubbed his high arched neck as he had always seen Billy Buck do, and he crooned, "So-o-o, boy," in a deep voice. The pony gradually relaxed his tenseness. Jody curried and brushed until a pile of dead hair lay in the stall and until the pony's coat had taken on a deep red shine. Each time he finished he thought it might have been done better. He braided the mane into a dozen little pigtails, and he braided the forelock, and then he undid them and brushed the hair out straight again. (1.58)
Jody looked reproachfully at Billy Buck and Billy felt guilty.
"You said it wouldn't rain," Jody accused him.
Billy looked away. "It's hard to tell, this time of year," he said, but his excuse was lame. He had no right to be fallible, and he knew it.
"The pony got wet, got soaked through."
"Did you dry him off?"
"I rubbed him with a sack and I gave him hot grain."
Billy nodded in agreement.
"Do you think he'll take cold, Billy?"
"A little rain never hurt anything," Billy assured him. (1.104-1.112)